General Mills recalls Gold Medal flour over E. coli concerns

General Mills this week announced a voluntary nationwide recall of its Gold Medal flour over concerns a specific batch may be contaminated with E.coli bacteria.

The company is recalling some of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour after a sampling of the product revealed the potential presence of E.coli, specifically E.coli O26.

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“This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product,” the FDA said in a news release regarding the recall.

The recall affects five-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour with a best if used by date of Sept. 6, 2020.

At this time, no other types of Gold Medal Flour are affected by the recall.

The recalled product.

The recalled product. (FDA)

E. coli are bacteria found in both human and animal intestines.

While most strains are harmless, some are pathogenic and can cause illness, which typically includes stomach cramps and diarrhea, according to the CDC. The bacteria can be transmitted through contaminated water or food and sometimes through contact with other people and animals.

While most people recover after several days, some E. coli infection cases can be life-threatening. This is especially true for pregnant women, newborns, older or elderly adults and those with weakened immune systems.

The CDC recommends thorough hand-washing, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding cross-contamination in food preparation areas as ways to prevent E. coli illness.

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“Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O26 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities,” the FDA said.

The recall comes after the company in January recalled the same product over salmonella concerns.